Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Let me make one thing perfectly clear..." (Luke 24)

Most people use non-word "fillers" in their speech -- err, ahh, and so on. Skilled orators have filler phrases they can throw in to stall for time while their brain fetches the next thing they want to say. "As I was saying ...." "As my esteemed colleague pointed out ..." or, the one Richard Nixon used (and no one since!) "Let me make one thing perfectly clear:" Today, we'll start by playing with the way suffixes can transform a Turkish root into a number of other, related words.
Luk 24:1 Kadınlar haftanın ilk günü, sabah çok erkenden, hazırlamış oldukları baharatı alıp mezara gittiler. Luk 24:2 Taşı mezarın girişinden yuvarlanmış buldular. Luk 24:3 Ama içeri girince Rab İsa'nın cesedini bulamadılar. Luk 24:4 Onlar bu durum karşısında şaşırıp kalmışken, şimşek gibi parıldayan giysilere bürünmüş iki kişi yanlarında belirdi. Luk 24:5 Korkuya kapılan kadınlar başlarını yere eğdiler. Adamlar ise onlara, "Diri olanı neden ölüler arasında arıyorsunuz?" dediler. Luk 24:6 "O burada yok, dirildi.
Now, a few words:
  • belirgin -- clear, evident
  • belirmek -- to appear, to become evident
  • belirlemek -- determine, fix
  • belirsiz -- indefinite, uncertain
  • belirti -- sign, symptom
  • belirtmek -- state, make clear, specify, determine
One of my favorite paintings, Salvador Dali's The Sacrament of the Last Supper, presents a mystical vision of the resurrected Lord. A boat is being launched through his transparent body, representing, perhaps, the Christian church, the ark that carries our lives towards eternity. The depiction of early morning light speaks of the dawn of a new day. It's a lovely picture. Still, it does not represent a real-time historical event, but the artist's meditations on the meaning of the event.

The rest of this chapter abounds in concrete events. The two travelers who were joined on the road by a mysterious stranger. The disciples in a locked room, suddenly joined by the risen Christ, with visibly injured hands and feet. Just to demonstrate that he was not a ghost, Jesus invited their touch, and snacked on food that happened to be handy.

Unlike ghost stories, that take place at night during times of diminished and altered perception, the accounts of the forty days between our Lord's resurrection and his ascension happen in broad daylight. To people who are startled, who did not expect to see him again. Dali did get one thing right, though. Nearly 2,000 years later, this historical event sheds light, and joy, and wonder over the lives of believers today.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: life is found in and through the resurrected Lord. And those who have been illuminated find the experience too wonderful to keep to themselves. Come in out of the dark -- the family is waiting for you!

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